DC

Crabs, Crabs, Crabs: Where To Feast On Chesapeake Bay's Finest In D.C. Area

If it's summer, it must be time for crabs.

Washington is luckily located close enough to the Chesapeake Bay to enjoy plenty of fresh Maryland blue crabs during the April 1 to December 15 crabbing season.

Don't just assume that the crab on your plate is from Maryland, though; around 98 percent of crabmeat served in the state annually is imported, often from overseas.

Last year in the Washington City Paper, Young and Hungry columnist Jessica Sidman revealed that even asking where the crabmeat is from doesn't always result in accurate answers:

Some chefs... argue that “Maryland crab cake” refers to the style, not the ingredient. And it’s not illegal to call these Maryland crab fakes “Maryland crab cakes.” But the phrasing is misleading, especially at a time when consumers want to buy local and know where their food comes from.

One way to make sure your crabs are really local: look for the True Blue logo, a Maryland seafood certification that ensures customers "can look at a menu and know right away that they're getting what they think they're getting."

Ready to eat? Here are a few of our favorite places to tuck in a bib and go to town on a bucket of crabs:

Where To Get Crabs In D.C. Area
1
Soft Shelled Crab With Pastured Butter, Lemon And Capers
Goldilocks Finds Manhattan
Get the Soft Shelled Crab with Pastured Butter, Lemon and Capers from Goldilocks Finds Manhattan
2
Soft Shell Crab Pakora Po’ Boy
Perfect Morsel
Get the Soft Shell Crab Pakora Po’ Boy recipe from Perfect Morsel
3
Waffles Maryland Style
Wild Greens And Sardines
Get the Waffles Maryland Style recipe from Wild Greens And Sardines
4
Panko-crusted Soft Shell Crab With Ginger Ponzu Sauce
Rasa Malaysia
5
Soft-Shell Crab Pasta
Wishful Chef
Get the Soft-Shell Crab Pasta recipe from Wishful Chef
6
Crispy Salt And Pepper Soft Shell Crab
Goldilocks Finds Manhattan
Get the Crispy Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab recipe from Goldilocks Finds Manhattan
7
Tempura Soft Shell Crab
The Hungry Excavator
Get the Tempura Soft Shell Crab recipe from The Hungry Excavator
8
Cornmeal Crusted Soft Shell Crab With Buttermilk Apple And Chive Coleslaw
Pitchfork Diaries
9
Spicy Soft-Shell Crab
Nutmeg Nanny
Get the Spicy Soft-Shell Crab recipe from Nutmeg Nanny
10
Crispy Soft-Shell Crabs With Pea Shoots & Orange-Sesame Emulsion
Zen Can Cook
11
Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Soft-Shell Crabs
Sassy Radish